LOVINGTON, N.M. – Over the course of two weeks from the end of June into July, Steven Dent won $25,685.
He was the big winner during ProRodeo’s Cowboy Christmas, the time of year around the Fourth of July holiday that features some lucrative rodeos with great payouts. When it all came together, Dent had catapulted into the lead in the bareback riding world standings.
And it all started on July 30 in Pecos, Texas, where he matched moves with Carr Pro Rodeo’s MGM Deuces Night for 91 points to win the West of the Pecos Rodeo. He collected $3,491, and the string of great rides began.
“If we could vote on the most desirable horse in the world to draw, I would say everybody would probably pick Deuces Night,” said Steven Dent, a four-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo bareback rider from Mullin, Neb. “If you had one horse, one ride to win any rodeo, I’m pretty sure everyone would say Deuces Night.”
MGM Deuces Night, along with a number of other elite bucking beasts from the Carr ranch, will be featured at Lea County Fair and Rodeo, set for Wednesday, Aug. 8-Saturday, Aug. 11, at Jake McClure Arena.
Dent’s ride in Pecos was the highest-marked ride on the 7-year-old bay/paint mare at a Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association event in her three years bucking in ProRodeo and the second highest marked ride on her ever – reigning world champion Kaycee Feild of Payson, Utah, posted a 93-point, arena-record ride to win the $50,000 round at RodeoHouston, a non-sanctioned event.
“I’d never been on that horse, but I’d been on Pete’s Dirty Jacket before,” Dent said. “Actually a couple years ago I finished second on him; Chris Harris won on Deuces Night before anybody knew about that horse. I’ve been wanting to get on Deuces Night ever since.
“It felt really good. She left the chute really hard. She feels like she stalls out and leaps six feet in the air. If every horse felt like that, there would be 500 more bareback riders in the world.”
The mare has a pretty strong resume. Of the four times she’s bucked at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas during the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, she’s helped cowboys to three go-round victories and one runner-up finish. Some experts might say she just likes that arena. Well, that can be said for just about any rodeo pen.
“She’s been pretty electric just about anywhere we’ve taken her,” said Pete Carr, the man who owns MGM Deuces Night and Carr Pro Rodeo.
And the cowboys love it.
“That’s just a unique horse, and she gets real high in the air,” said Feild, who rode her for the 10th-round win during the 2011 NFR. “That horse tries really hard to buck really good. She gets high in the air and gives you a lot of time to set your feet and crank your toes out. You’ve got to have quick feet and set them high in the neck. With that horse, it seems easy to set them high in the neck.
“She’s that way every time I’ve been on her. She’s a pretty cool horse.”
Feild has seen her quite a bit. He won the NFR’s 10th round on MGM Deuces Night in 2010, too, then scored 90 points to share the final-round win in April 2011 at the Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo in Oklahoma City. Of course, Feild isn’t the only cowboy to have success on the young mare.
“When I heard callbacks, I was screaming out loud and running around like a little girl,” said J.R. Vezain of Cowley, Wyo., who rodeo MGM Deuces Night for 89 points to win the rodeo in Guymon, Okla., earlier this year. “I had my highest marked ride on that horse last year with an 87 at San Antonio, and I was going for the record this year.
“I was going for 90; I knew it was going to be good.”
That’s what Ryan Gray of Chaney, Wash., got when he matched moves with the horse during the fifth go-round of the 2011 NFR. It was worthy of the round victory, just like Kelly Timberman of Mills, Wyo., did in 2010, when he scored 88.5 points. Not bad for a horse that was raised by bareback rider Wes Stevenson.
“I knew she’d have a really good shot to come to the finals,” said Stevenson, a seven-time NFR qualifier from Lubbock, Texas. “I knew she was that good, so part of the reason I sold her to Pete is that I knew she’d have a good shot to go to the finals. I bought her from Jim Zinser as a brood mare, but she bucked so good, I didn’t want to waste her sitting at my house. I wanted her to have a chance.
“She has a lot of heart. I was the first one to get on her with a rigging, and from the first time we ever bucked her, I knew that little filly has a lot of heart. She’s a very electric horse.”